The active leisure sector (fitness and outdoor sectors) has intensively worked on its own skills agenda in recent years. It recognises the importance of the need for an implementation plan based on the policy recommendations of the Expert Group on Human Resources Development and EU New Skills Agenda. Accordingly the Blueprint for Skills Cooperation and Employment in Active Leisure project focuses on developing new skills for current and future workers, for improving employability of young people, and supporting entrepreneurship and growth across the sector.
The project brings together leading actors from the sector in a formidable partnership of expertise to implement the project, which includes the priorities of:
- a skills survey to identify current skills gaps and shortages, and to provide foresight into future skills needs,
- an update of existing qualifications for key occupations to meet future skills needs,
- an analysis of the obstacles and recognition of skills and qualifications in active leisure,
- promoting the benefits of the learning experience and gaining of qualifications for developing wider skills for employability – including developing transversal skills,
- to develop an enhanced registration/recognition of the competencies of workers to help improve their mobility,
- establishing an awarding organisation which will oversee the quality assurance of the delivery of qualifications,
- to use the ECVET and ECTS systems to improve qualification recognition,
- recognising the value of informal and non-formal learning and training,
- trialling the new qualifications with national qualification frameworks to improve their recognition and visibility at a European level.
The project will especially reflect on the changing roles of fitness and outdoor workers in developing skills to meet new digital technologies, promoting health-enhancing physical activity (sometimes with other healthcare professionals), and working with special population groups.